Explore the best trails near Portland with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
dogs on leash
this was confusing to follow on the trail. I took BPA Rd. along for a while before the trail split to firelands 13 and another direction. I took the other direction. Found AMAZING views of the Willamette but also a steep hill going down. Plan for a steep incline on the way back!!
We made the mistake (kind of) of using Google to find the trailhead of Ridge Trail. It took us to the entrance via NW Bridge Avenue which is actually the bottom of the trail, so 5 minutes in, we already reached the beautiful lookout point over St. John's Bridge. There was no satisfaction in that though so we decided to hike all the way up and back down, just to see what Forest Park is all about. This place is HUGE! No wonder they named it Forest Park. Fun fact - it's also one of the biggest, if not...THE biggest metropolitan park in the United States.
The other reviewers are right, even on a sunny day, it can still be really muddy at certain parts, especially if it rained earlier in the week. We hiked a week after the ice storm, so there were certain parts in the trail where we had to climb over some trees that fell over.
There's not really much else to see on the rest of the trail. No other jaw-dropping lookout points from what I know, unless you head all the way to the other side where the Pittock Mansion is. I saw several joggers along the way (on Christmas Day, surprisingly!) and the park is inside of Portland, which makes for a great choice if you're looking for something quick and nearby.
What I did appreciate is how well-marked the trails are. However, I wouldn't recommend Ridge Trail if you're looking for a hike where you can picnic by a scenic viewpoint, which is what I like to do. The lookout point of the St. John's Bridge is not very spacious. But if you're looking for something quick, this'll work for you. And if you don't even want to get the exercise in, then park at the bottom so you don't have to hike down.
I had a lovely solo hike here on a quiet Sunday in December. The trail was muddy in spots due to recent rains/snow, and the wetlands were high with water! Plenty of squirrels and ducks sighted. The route started in Sellwood to the south, went clockwise around the lake and all the way up to near McLoughlin Blvd and then back along the bluff trail. Gorgeous views of the Willamette along the Springwater trail, and the view of Oaks Park across the lake in the afternoon is magical. Even the rather ominous Portland Mausoleum has a friendly look when viewed from the Bluff trail. I highly recommend this hike.
Hike was easy enough, just boring. Word of warning. Person had his car broken into. They smashed his windows.
Another person said, who was leaving, they no longer lock doors. They don't leave anything in car so at least they don't have to pay for replacing windows.